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EU Alumni Perspective: Dr. Aaron Gerla

Name: Dr. Aaron Gerla

Graduation Year: 1999

Major: Social Science with Secondary Education

Current Position: Ash Grove School District Superintendent, next year Mountain Grove Superintendent

City and State: Ash Grove, MO

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

After graduating from Evangel, I started my career as a high school history teacher and a football/baseball coach.  Not long after, I got into administration and worked my way up the ladder in a few different districts until I became the superintendent for Ash Grove eight years ago.  Overall, this is my 25th year in education, with 19 as an administrator and 8 as a superintendent. Next year I will be moving school districts to become the Superintendent of the Mountain Grove School District, about an hour east of Springfield.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

I loved my time in the dorms with the guys.  We had so many good memories that we will remember the rest of our lives.  I’ll never forget my baseball teammates, friends and/or classmates that I met while at Evangel.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I knew that I was called into the education field, and Evangel helped reassure that calling.  The professors helped prepare me for my career by being real about what we were about to get ourselves into, while also providing guidance from a biblical perspective that now pays off for me daily.

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

I had moved 2000 miles away from home to go to Evangel and the experience forced me to grow up, strengthen my character and decide what type of man I wanted to be.  Educationally, socially, and spiritually, Evangel provided the opportunity for me to get the most out of my college experience, and I am extremely thankful for that.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Work hard and be flexible in what is asked of you.  Ask good questions and be open to the responses that you may get.  People with strong moral character will stick out and don’t ever forget who you are and what you stand for.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

Work ethic, moral character, and a passion for the job are all must haves in new employees.  Evangel will give you the chance to obtain all three qualities.